Dressage Barns in Chicago area

I’m a young professional (not horse professional!) newly relocated to Chicago (north Chicago), and don’t currently own a horse. I’d appreciate suggestions of barns with lesson horses, or possibly half leases, so that I could take lessons/ride two to three times a week.

My background was in jumpers in high school, but I’d be happy to pursue jumpers, hunters, or dressage. Just want to be able to get back to riding!

A program that encourages riders to show is nice, but not essential. My big constraint is time, so I’m hoping to find a place within a 45 minute commute.

Thanks in advance.

I’ve posted both here and in Hunter/Jumper, and so far gotten only one response (which I appreciate!)

I’m not sure whether my parameters are impossible to meet, or there are just not many CotHers in the Chicago area.

To relax my parameters, can anyone recommend barns within an hour commute of north Chicago that have good trainers in either Hunter/Jumper or dressage?


I think you aren’t getting answers because with Chicago traffic there probably isn’t a barn an hour away. With winter snowfall except a drive to take 2 hours or more for anything around an hour drive.

I moved from the suburbs 3 years ago to Florida so I’m not sure what is around or has leases available. You will most likely need to commit to an hour & 15 or an hour & a half drive. Your best option is to check in Wisconsin or I think there is a Northern Illinois horse directory FB page.


Thanks for your response. I posted on both dressage and Hunter/Jumper because I anticipated it might be hard to get something close in and I’m flexible on discipline. I did get some suggestions from the post in Hunter/Jumper, but they may well be places that are farther out than an hour drive, as you say. I’ll check the Northern Illinois horse directory FB page as well.

I’m in the western suburbs and I will tell you right now there are no dressage barns within an hour of Chicago. In fact, there are few dressage barns in the Chicago area that would cater to your needs. Trainers want you to have your own horse and be in their show program. You might have decent luck looking south of the city.

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Just from a google search - I’m in the south so nothing within an hour. I don’t know anything about this person or barn…

Thanks. I also posted in Hunter:Jumper, and I have a few leads to pursue from that query, but I’ll also see if there’s any dressage towards the south.

Unfortunately I’m not in a position to own a horse for a couple years probably, although I could half lease a horse in training. But I know that’s tricky to find as well.

I appreciate your response (I sort of anticipated there might not be a lot of options),

Thanks, Endless. I recognize your screen name from my reading on CotH. You’re an eventer, if I don’t have you mixed up with someone else.

I try to be, haha. I’m more of a jack of all trades master of none. :slight_smile: I like horses of all shapes and sizes and disciplines.

There used to be a barn near or in Chicago, K-something… I don’t remember the name but they moved to Florida if I recall correctly. It was two letters as the name.

Other posters are correct, traffic is going to kill ya. Are you close to Team Hall (I think that’s the farm name)? Or Barrington? Lots of barns and a good horse community in Barrington. And of course Lamplight in McHenry. Everything is going to be $$$ I think.

I had a random epiphany, to no avail.

I believe it was KB Dressage. But now, I can’t find evidence they ever existed at all, let alone moved.

I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

KB Dressage was the Barteau’s training center. They moved to Florida several years ago. The venue is now called Equestrian Events, does sales and training, and is in Maple Park which is west of me, and I’m in Hampshire. Barrington is very horsey but the majority are kept on private land and riders hack over to the riding center. I believe there is a place just over the Wisconsin border in Bristol. Sunflower Farms? Lots of trainers there, each with their own program. I bet if the OP puts a notice on the FB group Northern Illinois Horses, she’d get some nibbles. P.S. Lamplight is just a show venue. It is not a boarding barn and there aren’t trainers there.


Also check on FB “Northern” Illinois Horses. This is a different group, note the quotes around Northern. Right now there is an ad for an on site lease in Wheaton which should be within your hour criteria.

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Thanks, @peedin. I thought I was going insane, not being able to find a trace of their existence lol EDIT: Yes, I know Lamplight is a show venue. :slight_smile: Where there are nice show venues, typically barns are somewhere nearby though.

OP, I just thought of something - contact IDCTA. They’re going to know every farm in the region, and can give you insight.



Forgot about IDCTA. I’m killing time at work. LOL. Fatima Krantz has an ad in their latest scribe for lessons. She’s in the St. Charles area.

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North Chicagoland has many barns, serious dressage is mostly private with few quality schoolhorses available. Silverwood is one of the show venues and a good place to check out local trainers and get to know the scene. PM me if want to talk more specifics :slight_smile:


Long time Chicago resident and very familiar with the area and the community. Your drive parameters may, just like others have said, be a little too rigid because between weather and Chicago traffic what comes up as 40 minutes on Google Maps could turn into two hours depending on conditions. BUT, there are definitely barns that are worth it.

On Course Riding Academy - Valerie Buesching
Our Day Farm - Maggie Jayne
Red Coat Farm - Lisa Goldman
Millennium Farm - Katie Leverick
Third Coast Equestrian - Alex Veleris
Old Barrington Farm - Amelia McArdle
Deerwood Farm - Erin Hirsch
Fireside Farm (Dressage) - Patti Becker
Flying Dutchman Farm (Dressage) - Rosie Simoes and Julie Julian
Hidden Knoll Farm - Jill Knowles
Always Faithful Equestrian Center - John French
Galway Farm - Laurie Canaday

Some others:
Palladia Farm, Glen Grove Equestrian Center, Involo Farms, Victorious Farms, Campton Hills Equestrian, Seven Oaks Farm, Townline Stables, Messenger Hill Farm, Lane Williamson Stables, Fields & Fences, High Finance Farm

I will say you will most likely have much more luck with lessons/leases with the hunter/jumper barns. The dressage community has very few, if any lesson programs currently in the area. Unless you’re willing to go very far West or North.

Check the member directories for the Northern Illinois Hunter Jumper Association, the Illinois Hunter Jumper Association, and the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association.

Good luck!


Wisco native here. If you are willing to make the drive north there may be more options. As someone said Sunflower farms is on the border of WI/IL with multiple trainers and a huge facility you may find something. Of course few leases in Dressage but I found one recently that is working out great that was just word of mouth so worth contacting trainers and asking. I’d also suggest my barn but its pretty far north of the border…

Also check out Stonehedge in WI and can join some WI FB groups to look for leases.

I also follow someone on insta (@warmbloodsandwine) that boards at Equestrian Events in IL and I know she used to lease a horse there… not sure if there are currently leases available…

Kristen Becker at Volta Farm, Batavia. Close to I-88 so an easy drive.

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Try Oak Brook Farm. It is in Oak Brook in the DuPage Forest preserve.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll check it out.